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Enterprises Must Consider Privacy Concern For Biometrics
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AdamE896
AdamE896,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/12/2016 | 3:18:44 PM
I've been saying the same thing for a year now

I totally agree with the report findings. There are some researchers out there looking at how to properly protect user biometrics as an authentication factor in a central database utilizing a secret salt with a hash but no one is using that at all that I can find. Decentralized is the only truly secure way to deal with biometrics. At LaunchKey, we identified the inherent advantage of storing authentication factors on the device on day 1. As we added biometric factors, the decentralized strategy really proved to be fortuitous move. Even though it seems like a no brainer, I have been really surprised how push back we have received from the infosec community at large. The community as a whole seems skeptical and many are dismissive of decentralized authentication, biometric or not. I fear that the industry will decentralize at a much slower pace than it rolls out biometrics.

coolspot
coolspot,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/13/2016 | 3:27:29 AM
Re: I've been saying the same thing for a year now
Your assessment of server-side biometrics is incorrect. The systems I deal with do indeed use a secret salt to randomize the voiceprint and then further encrypt the print based on a system specific encryption key. Even if a print were stolen from one system, it would be unusable on another.

On device biometrics is subject to the quality and hardware provided by the device and potentially can allow for the hardware to be bypassed or modified. Also upgrades of the biometric algorithms on the client side is more difficult than a centralized system. Not to mention, device specific biometrics means that cross channel authentication is all but impossible. 

Obviously there are some benefits to on device versus on server as well - ultimately it will be up to each organization to decide which method they want to proceed with, but I don't think PwC findings were entirely accurate or representative of the state of biometrics technology/security.
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
5/31/2016 | 8:40:21 AM
Data Compromise
Maybe genetic engineering will evolve to the point where if our fingerprints or our iris scans get compromised, we can simply change them.

And then, because of the human incapacity for true entropy, we'll be making the same criticisms about biometrics that we've been making about passwords for years.  ;)


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